Conservation Volunteers Australia (CVA) and Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal Pty Ltd (DBCT P/L) have partnered under DBCT P/L’s sponsorship program to implement a recovery program aimed at restoring the coastal foreshore areas of the Mackay Region impacted by ex-tropical cyclone Debbie.
CVA Mackay Regional Manager, Skye Salsibury-Briggs said the recovery program helped volunteer services meet the challenge of post-cyclone and flood clean-up, recovery, and the rebuilding of community morale, including the restoration of natural and cultural heritage.
“It is brilliant how many members of the local community care passionately about the state of their beaches. We have had all ages come along to lend a hand, and they’ve been learning about the coastal environment at the same time,” Ms Salsibury-Briggs said.
“The force of Cyclone Debbie had caused damage to the coastal foreshore through coastal erosion and vegetation loss. As urban pressures also make it difficult for this area to recover naturally following natural disasters, due to increased usage, weeds, and vegetation loss,” she said.
Throughout 2017/18, marine debris collection was undertaken across eight sites through both community volunteering days and large events such as the 2017 Great Northern Clean-Up at Harbour Beach. Beyond collection of the debris, CVA volunteers also conducted surveys of the rubbish which were provided to Tangaroa Blue Foundation, a national database on marine debris.
DBCT P/L CEO, Steve Rae, said funding the recovery program was an expansion of an existing partnership between the two organisations.
“CVA has advised that under the Recovery Program over 45 local community volunteers have collected more than 3,196 debris items totalling 124kg of marine debris, contributing to the total of over 345 hours of volunteer labour.
“We have a long-standing partnership with CVA through the funding of the Louisa Creek Reserve restoration, and it’s great that we could also support their cyclone recovery work,” he said.
Ms Salsibury-Briggs said as part of the Recovery Program, CVA volunteers were also trained in environmental survey techniques and conducted six flora surveys across the various foreshore sites.
“These surveys built on on-going efforts by CVA and partners in the region, including, but not limited to, Mackay Regional Council, Reef Catchments, Birdlife, and other Community Organisations, to increase biodiversity, natural regeneration and community stewardship of our coastline.
“Everyday CVA volunteers make a difference to the environment across Australia and New Zealand. As part of the DBCT P/L Sponsorship Program, CVA has successfully completed what we set out to do and we would like to extend a big thank you to DBCT, our community partners and our volunteers for making this possible.”
If you are interested in volunteering in Mackay please contact our Conservation Officer on (07) 4951 0933 or search for local events in your area.